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Veteran Officer Explains How Nonprofit 'Police Foundation' Could Help FMPD with Cold Cases

Photo: Fort Myers Police Department via Facebook (cropped)

The Police Foundation is a national nonprofit tasked with improving policing through research, innovation, and science, and it may soon be offering help and a fresh set of eyes for the Fort Myers Police Department as it sifts through 155 unsolved homicides.

An agreement between the nonprofit and FMPD is still being worked out, but it won’t cost the city anything: the 47-year old Foundation is funded through the Ford Foundation as part of the President’s Commission on the Challenge of Crime in a Free Society.

Dr. David Thomas, the senior research fellow with the Foundation, joins Gulf Coast Live to discuss past efforts by the organization to reorganize and retool law enforcement agencies in other states, as well as the challenges police face when trying to solve cold cases. He'll also discuss what particular issues the Fort Myers Police Department will have to deal with based on past assessments and a stark 2017 audit that recommended significant changes.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.